Real estate investor Michael Acciardi believed he was getting the deal of a lifetime. A New Jersey mansion worth $3 million for only $2.6 million.
His reaction the first time he saw the [tag-tec]foreclosure property[/tag-tec] was to vomit. The horrifying moment was captured on camera by the show Inside Edition.
It is yet unclear if Acciardi’s sudden sickness was the result of the shock of first seeing a property which had been totally destroyed by 120 cats and 23 dead ones. Or maybe it was the cat urine odors that overcame him.
What is known now is the property has been condemned by the health department and will probably have to be torn down. Animal feces pack the large rooms.
The once beautiful hardwood floors have buckled throughout the mansion because of cat urine.
As we all know only too well, a male cat can spray a floor all the way down to the sub floor. There is nothing on the market today which will get the smell out totally. Multiply that cat smell by dozens of cats and you can get the picture.
What are the lessons to be learned with this [tag-self]foreclosure[/tag-self] property especially since you usually don’t get a chance to view a foreclosed property before buying it?
1. Do Due Diligence Any Way You Can, But Get It Done
Can’t view the property?
If I were spending $2.6 million dollars you can bet the farm I’m going to take a look at it. And I’m not just going to take the bank’s seal of approval that everything is okay.
How do you get to see it?
As the article for Inside Edition informs, knock on the door. Walk around. Peep in the windows. (Of course, stay within the law. We needn’t warn you need to be careful. We don’t want to encourage people to trespass, of course).
2. Hire a Private Detective
Okay, so you don’t want to snoop, I mean sleuth, yourself. Farm it out.
Hire a private detective who does surveillance. How much would a private detective have cost on a $2.6 million property anyway? My guess is his fees wouldn’t have amounted to much compared to the money lost on the house.
As Inside Edition states, anyone could have gone up to the giant windows and viewed the cats roaming about the house. That’s a red flag if there ever was one.
3. Check all records
Because I’m a landlord myself, I know how quickly tenants can get into serious housekeeping problems.
It’s almost inconceivable a heart surgeon, for example, could create a roach problem in a property because of messy housekeeping, but we had such a case just last week. Don’t allow a white coat to fool you.
Often a property that is in very bad shape has been that way for some time. It takes a while for a handful of cats to breed themselves 120 strong.
These properties have histories. This is one history test you had better not fail.
4. If it sounds too good to be true, there could be a problem
Of course, there are terrific deals out there that are very good and true. We’re not referring to those.
But mansions like this one don’t come up everyday at bargain basement prices. Find out why the bank wants to get rid of that house. There are many legitimate reasons but multiple cats are not one of them.
Here is the question this real estate investor would have asked the bank: “If it’s such a good deal how come someone else hasn’t already jumped on it?”